Thursday, January 27, 2005


Last night, I get a call from mom at 5:30 telling me to come over immediately. I knew she must've just gotten home and found something wrong with dad. I hurry up there after getting stuck behind a car going 20 mph half the way. Dad is on the couch downstairs, tons of dark blood in his nose and mouth and around him, but mom had already cleaned a lot of it up. He's sweating, his pupils are pinpoints and his breathing is gurgling - more of that blood stuff is probably in his lungs. Mom couldn't get him up and wanted me to try. I pinch him hard, I force his eyes open, etc., but he is totally unresponsive and I tell mom she has to call 911.

Pretty soon the room is filled with firemen, EMT's and eventually the ambulance paramedics. They think his heart may have stopped and do a little CPR. He has a very high pulse. They want to know what prescriptions he is taking. We go look at his pills and one of the bottles is totally empty; it looks like he may have overdosed on some pain medicine. Apparently, if you take too much it can make you goofy and not realize what's going on or how much you've taken and next thing you know you may have finished them off.

He go after him to the emergency room and my brother calls our uncle to inform his parents, etc. I'm getting ready to head back up there today, he's in ICU. He's on a breathing tube, his lungs are damaged from that stuff in it. If he was that way all day he could've had some brain damage from lack of oxygen. He had lots of bleeding in his stomach - tons of it. Apparently one of the doctors got him to squeeze his hand early this morning but no other movement so far.

I guess we're not totally surprised this happened, he hasn't been taking good care of himself for a long time. Last night they did a CT scan which is not a test for brain activity, but it is a static image of the brain. They found a few abnormalities, one of them apparently an old stroke no one knew he had had, and the other they have no idea - maybe multiple sclerosis or maybe something from childhood or something they just have no idea of what it might be.

Jeff and I are both fine, mom is having a bit harder time. I'm heading up there soon to hang out with her.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005


I can remember it being a very special treat to get to stay up late and watch Johnny Carson. No other late night talk show host is like him. Jay Leno, David Letterman and Conan O'Brian each have their strengths, but Johnny seemed to be the master of all aspects of late night hosting. And somehow he came across as being nice. Maybe it's the name. Johnny Carson, Jimmy Carter - add a Y on the end and you end up a nice guy? I don't know any folks in the modern era who put a Y on the end of their names into adulthood - they seem to think it makes them sound immature. But it worked for those two, didn't it? :)

Monday, January 17, 2005

Western Leadership

Well this weekend I was at the NEA Western Regional Leadership Conference in Denver. Plus, I got to do some night time geocaching with my friend Michelle - we had a blast!

Reg Weaver is the president of NEA, he gave a nice speech Friday night. This isn't exactly what he said but a small portion of it simplified a bit. It was fun and hopefully useful - that remains to be seen if we can put anything from the conference to good use.

Reg Weaver's Ten Commandments! You want public education to be great in this country? Then try following these:

Commandment Number One: Thou shalt not pretend to reform schools by passing some bogus Ten Commandments law that will most likely be declared unconstitutional.

Commandment Number Two: Thou shalt not say that children are America's top priority when 20 percent of America's children live in poverty, 15 percent have no health insurance, and 13 children are killed by gunfire every single day.

Commandment Number Three: Thou shalt recognize that only public education has the potential to provide each and every child in America with a quality education, and therefore, thou shalt not abandon public schools, but redeem and enhance them.

Commandment Number Four: Thou shalt not spend more money on prisons than on schools. The more quality schools you have, the fewer prisons you'll need.

Commandment Number Five: Thou shalt not kid thyself that paying starting teachers $20,000 a year is any way to attract and retain the best and the brightest educators for our kids. Thou shalt support future teachers - not insult them.

Commandment Number Six: Thou shalt respect every child as precious and capable of learning - regardless of their background - and treat them as the valuable natural resource that they are.

Commandment Number Seven: Thou shalt not bash teachers - especially when thou has not been in a classroom thyself for the last 35 years.

Commandment Number Eight: Thou shalt honor not only teachers, but the people who drive the buses, clean the hallways, serve the lunches, counsel the students, take the attendance, nurse the injured, assist in the classrooms, and run our nation's schools with dignity and dedication and grace.

Commandment Number Nine: Thou shalt recognize that quality education requires everybody in the education community to work together cooperatively - from retired teachers to new administrators to parents - and engage them accordingly.

And finally, Commandment Number Ten: Thou shalt remember that public education must always be an immediate priority and a long-term investment. Schools must not be subjected to quick fixes or get-rich-quick schemes.

And what the heck. Let me add an Eleventh Commandment: Thou shalt not determine a student's entire future by the results of a single ultra-high stakes test -- especially if that test is inherently flawed and unfair!

And a Twelfth Commandment! Why not? Commandment Number Twelve: Thou shalt not establish a whole new set of standards for schools without aligning them with the curriculum! Or, without aligning them with the tests! Or without any input from the teachers who are actually going to have to teach them! And thou shalt certainly not hold schools accountable to these standards without giving them the help and the resources they need to meet them!

Now those are Twelve Commandments that will make a truly extraordinary difference for children all across America!

Monday, January 10, 2005

new year's quiz stolen from Chris


1. What did you do this year that you've never done before?
Played Nintendo GameCube, Geocaching, went to Pennsylvania

2. Did you keep your new years resolution and what is yours for this year?
I don't really make NY resolutions. I make them as I go, particularly at the start of something new, like a new school year, new semester, new summer break. I have several things to work on.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My aunt

5. What countries did you visit?

6. What would you like to have in 2005 that you didn't have in 2004?
Improved fitness, a cleaner house, new friends

7. What dates will remain attached in your memory

I probably won't remember anything in terms of its date.

8. What was your biggest acheivment in 2004?
Getting divorced

9. Biggest failure
Getting divorced

10. Did you suffer from illness or injury?
No, alhumdooleluh, nothing serious

11. What was the best thing you bought?
a new refrigerator - important if you need one

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
mom, brother

13. Whose behaviour made you appaled or depressed?

14. Where did you spend most of your money?

15. What were you most excited about?
teaching AP Stats

16. What song will always remind you of 2004?
don't have one

17. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?

18. Richer or poorer?
richer, I got a raise

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
praying without good concentration

20. How will you be celebrating Eid Al-Adha?
nothing planned

21. Did you fall in love this year?

22. What was your favorite anasheed or naat?
the one's Renee and Leila gave me

21. Do you hate anyone that you didn't hate last year?

22. What was the best book you read?
Islamic - light of Holy Qur'an
non-Islamic - Hillerman or Dan Brown

23. What was your greatest musical discovery?

24. What did you want and get?
I have every material thing I really need.

25. What was your favorite film this year?

Maybe The Bourne Supremacy.

26. How would you describe your fashion statement?

Islamic semi-clean occasionally wrinkled professional, unless it is a weekend.

27. What kept you sane in 2004?
patience and hope

28. What political issue stirred you the most?
Headscarf ban, Presidential election, our school board

29. Who was the best new person you met in 2004?
in person I finally met Sakina Dewji, also Mehdi Husain and Freda. I met lots of great people online.

30. What lesson did you learn in 2004 that best sums up your year?
I learn this one a lot - everything happpens in His time, not ours.

31. Song lyric that sums up your life in 2004?

Monday, January 03, 2005

More on Donations

At that site, orphan sponsorships are about $400-$600/yr. I'd rather not do monthly because if people didn't meet their commitment then others would have to make the difference and might not be able to do.

Tsunami donation can be any amount.

Other organizations have sponsorships, I don't know what organization might be best. I sponsored orphans through Childreach for a decade, they're a non-religious organization, but they're cheaper.

It all depends on what you want and how much money we're talking about that people will commit, etc.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Tsunami Relief

Donations Accepted Here

Just a thought: what if every blog reader donated at least $5 dollars for relief? Or if we put together $5 each per month to sponsor an orphan or two together?